“In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. “He trusts in God; let God rescue Him now, if He delights in Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
The irony of the informed…
At the moment of Christ’s apparent weakest hour those who were to be the most instructed and informed are, in the greatest irony, articulating the opposite of their understanding. The chief priests, scribes, and elders were the leaders of the Jewish nation, they held the oracles of God, and they were to be the shepherds of the people leading them to the greenest pastures.
So they were…
However, God, in Ezekiel 34 had previously indicted the Jewish leaders of their failure as the shepherds of God, and some things never change…
“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock?”
In other words, the leaders of Israel have from the moment they entered the promised land failed as the shepherds of God. This was to be.
No human could ever shepherd the people of God as God would shepherd His people. They were destined to fail, and God had a rescue plan to not only show them, but also to save them. However, the shepherds missed their mission–with all their information they missed the ancient plan previously foretold. Even though they failed to be shepherds of God, they could have at least pointed to the Shepherd when He arrived. But, their desires were for things of this world, and as they spoke those words, they demonstrated where their understanding of the things of God resided.
Jesus didn’t come as the conquering King, but instead came as the suffering Servant. His entrance was not in opulence, but in a lowly feeding trough. His exit was not one of political overthrow or military strategy, but one of rejection and humiliation. He was the God-man who must endure the life and death of His mission-plan, and in so doing conquer the thing (sin) through His death and resurrection–that was the only way to restore what had been previously broken.
God’s solution to man’s greatest problem was that He would send His Son to live the life that man could not live, accomplish the righteousness of God through keeping requirements of the God’s law, and then as a lamb set for slaughter would lay down His life in order to die in the place of His people and receive the punishment for their sin. God made a way for mankind to be saved where there was otherwise no way.
The leaders, the elders, and the chief priests—the shepherds of God—missed the mission…the so-called informed missed the plan.
And so, the irony of the so-called informed failed to embrace the humility, the mission, and the plan of their Savior.
How Does This Apply To Us Today?
Are there times in your life where education, intelligence, or information has served as a blinder instead of a conduit into and of the things of God? What about your growth in your spiritual life? What about your parenting of your children (if you have them)? What about how you interact with your spouse…your boss…your co-workers…your neighbors…your friends…overwhelming situations, etc.?
The reality is, we all have been blinded at some point by a pride of information. We all can relate to wanting to be in the know so bad that we miss the point of the knowledge–to know God.
And that’s what we see taking place in Jesus’ time. The leaders who had all the information failed to see that their King would come first in humility. Their desire for momentary power blurred their vision for their Messiah.
How do you see Jesus?
Do you read your Bible to “know” more or to “know” more about Him?
What if today you and I read, prayed, and thought more about what Christ accomplished on our behalf? What if we thought about how He broke free the chains that bind and bound us to sin and selfishness and pride and lust and pleasure and power and _____? What if we rested in His love today, in His humility, in His grace? What if we walked as Christians identified with the suffering Servant, and sought to emulate that in all of our lives, as well as share it with others?
We may be informed, we may be knowledgeable, and may we also be humble, like our Lord. Glory!